Search Results for: national trust trail hunting

Hunting Office webinars | National Trust suspends ‘trail hunting’ licences

The once seemingly impervious walls that fox hunting had built around itself with the invention of so-called ‘trail hunting’ are crumbling fast. Following on from the decision to suspend ‘trail hunting’ by Forestry England because of the secretly-recorded and leaked Hunting Office webinars, the National Trust has just announced that they too have paused ‘trail hunting’ on their land and will not be issuing any licences for the remainder of the season (which ends in March). This is another huge blow for illegal fox hunting. A highly respected charity has taken another look at ‘trail hunting’ and decided that – at the moment at least – it wants nothing at all to do with it.

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LACS | The National Trust and Trail Hunting

We’ve written many times about the National Trust (NT, one of the UK’s most important conservation charities) and its unfortunate affair with so-called ‘trail hunting’ (see a National Trust and Trail Hunting 101 for example). We’d rather not have to keep repeating ourselves, but so-called ‘trail hunting’ is a clear example of the war on wildlife, we exist to help tackle that war, and there is no good reason whatsoever for the NT to facilitate ‘trail hunting’ on its land. It’s not just us that thinks this of course: no-one outside of hunting thinks one of the country’s most respected charities should be allowing fox hunts to break the law on charity-owned land.

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National Trust and Trail Hunting 101

‘Trail hunting’ was invented by hunts in response to the passing of the Hunting Act 2004 which outlawed the hunting of wild animals with dogs and is widely understood to be little more than a stop-gap allowing hunts to maintain their packs while they work for the repeal of the Act. ‘Trail hunting’ looks and sounds very much like a ‘traditional’ fox hunt. Why , though, does it matter that the National Trust supports it? The answer lies in hunt credibility and land…

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‘Trail-hunting’ – following the trail all the way to court…

The fall out from the leaked Hunting Office webinars (an online meeting discussing how to avoid being caught foxhunting leaked by the Hunt Saboteurs Association) continues with some remarkable news that broke today: Mark Hankinson, the Director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA – the Governing Body of sticking two fingers up to the law whoops, we mean of course “for registered packs of Foxhounds”) will be charged in court in March with intentionally encouraging or assisting others to commit an offence under the Hunting Act 2004, contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crimes Act 2007. Foxhunting is a stubborn little virus, but this is, without doubt, a massive blow to a group of people who have routinely and deliberately broken the law every week since the Hunting Act came into force. It’s too early to say hunting won’t recover, of course, but kudos to the police for taking the investigation seriously and – of course – kudos again to the Hunt Sabs for getting these highly-incriminating video files online in the first place.

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Petition | Ask Duke of Westminster to ban ‘trail hunting’

Cheshire Monitors, the group that works to expose cruelty to wildlife in and around Cheshire and the North West, including fox and hare hunting, badger baiting and their related crimes, have launched a petition asking the Duke of Westminster to honour his late father’s wishes and ban so-called ‘trail hunting’ on his Cheshire estate. Cheshire Monitors write on their Facebook page that, “…in 2004, before the enactment of the Hunting Act, which banned the hunting of wild mammals with a pack of hounds, the then Duke of Westminster, who owned the 11,000 acre Eaton Estate in West Cheshire, vowed to stop hunts using his land if they broke the law: “I respect the law and if the law of the land comes in in February I will stick to it.” However, the current Duke of Westminster (Hugh Grosvenor) has continued to allow the Wynnstay, Cheshire Hounds and Cheshire Beagle hunts access to land at Eaton Estate.

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Foxhunting | Shut the door on your way out…

It appears that foxhunting is nowhere near as resilient as its been trying to appear. As many campaigners have suspected (and we ourselves have pointed out recently), hunts have been hit hard by lockdown. Without the fees collected for hunts and point to point meetings, but with the hounds and infrastructure to maintain, many hunts are facing financial ruin according to the excellent new website Hunting Leaks (whose expose has now been covered by ITV News). While we would never use the term ‘sport’ to describe the actions of rural hooligans on horseback breaking the law, the phrases ‘in trouble’ and ‘running out of money’ will be music to many of us. The acknowledgement that hunts are also ‘running out of country (to hunt in)’ is also extremely good news and shows how important the pressure to suspend ‘trail hunting’ licences on organisations like the National Trust and Forestry England has been. It must continue.

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Petition | Govt response to call to ban ‘trail hunting’

As expected, the government has responded to a petition asking for a ban on so-called ‘trail hunting’ by saying that there is no need to change the law because the law already bans fox hunting and allows so-called ‘trail hunting’ (which the government appears not to recognise as a smokescreen for illegal hunting). Does that we mean we should give up though? Absolutely not. Hunts are under enormous pressure right now from leaked webinars, councils banning hunts from their land, ‘trail hunting’ licences suspended by major landowners like the National Trust and Forestry Commission, and a financial crisis (because of lockdown stopping hunts collecting riding revenues) that hunts have never faced before. Hunts are reeling under a barrage of continuous scrutiny, online information, and their own stupid missteps. We may not actually need legislation changing in Parliament – by keeping the pressure on, we’re all helping illegal fox hunting to die a deserved ‘death by a thousand cuts’ anyway…

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